Thanks chiefly to Fox News (see below link), the news is breaking that Brandeis University is hosting a seminar regarding right-wing radicalism in Europe on April
28th. The seminar is specifically being hosted by the German and European Studies Department. While the focus appears to be on Neo-Nazis and skin heads in Europe, it appears that there will be some discussion about the Tea Party activities in America.
Does Brandeis think there is a connection? Check out the links below. The first is from The Fox Nation, and the second is from the university web site announcing the seminar.
I take particular notice of one of the panelists, a certain Professor Chip Berlet. This gentleman's chief scholarly pursuit seems to be on the right-wing in America. That is his right, but what I detect here is an attempt to link neo-Nazis and skin heads in Europe with tea partiers in America.
That would be an outright lie.
As one who has lived in Europe and follows events there, I share the panelists' concern about people like skin-heads and neo-Nazis. I condemn any attacks (which are referred to) on "brown-skinned" immigrants. They also mention attacks on Jews. I am deeply concerned about that as well. My sneaking suspicion is, however, that they will ignore the daily harassment and assaults (verbal and physical) on Jews by Muslim immigrants and concentrate solely on the native punks who engage in that activity.
That would not only be politically-correct, it would be a gross distortion of reality.
I sincerely hope that someone with our point of view who is in the area will attend that seminar and report on it. Tea partiers are not neo-nazis, nor are they skin-heads. It only takes a brief glance at all three to know the difference.
Below is my e-mail to the organizers of the conference at Brandeis.
Dear Ms Von Meering and McAllister,
My name is Gary Fouse, and I am an adjunct teacher at the University of
California at Irvine. I should add that I am writing to you as a private citizen
and not as a representative of the university. I also write a (conservative)
I write in connection with your up-coming conference on right-wing extremism in
Europe. As one who has spent three years in Germany and has extensively studied
German history and written a book on the history of Erlangen, Germany, I share
your concerns about neo-nazi and skin- head movements in Germany and
Europe-especially as they pertain to attacks on immigrants or Jews.
I have gotten the impression, perhaps erroneously, that your conference will:
1- concentrate on attacks upon Jews in Europe by neo-Nazis and skin heads
without addressing similar attacks upon Jews by Muslim immigrants-which is, in
my view, a more serious problem that can be easily documented in places like
London, Paris, Malmo, Sweden, Berlin and several other places..
2-Will draw links between Neo-Nazis and skin heads in Europe with tea-party
activists and demonstrators in the US.
I note in your web site announcement that the tea party is mentioned, as well as
the listing of one panelist (Chip Berlot), whose works apparently center around
right -wing extremists in the US.
First of all, I think that to connect tea-party activists with skin heads and
neo-Nazis in Europe is grossly inaccurate and unfair as any photographs of the
three groups will illustrate. To my knowledge, there has not yet been one
incident of violence in the US instigated by tea-party demonstrators or town
hall protestors. The handful of incidents where violence has occurred, such as
in St Louis, Tampa or Thousand Oaks, California, were instigated by counter
tea-party protestors, for example SEIU counter-demonstrators.
I would hope that your seminar will be fair-minded and balanced-not dictated by
political correctness. Though I am not Jewish, I am gravely concerned about the
resurgence in anti-Semitism in the West as a result of the Israel-Palestinian
conflict. If you are going to talk about racism in Europe without mentioning the
hatred being perpetrated by Muslim militants and try to connect it to tea-party
activists in the US, your seminar would be guilty of a gross distortion of fact.
I also believe that you would ignore the connection between the far-left in
Europe and North America with the pro-Palestinian side that has led directly, in
my view, to a resurgence in anti-Semitism both in Europe and North America.
University of California at Irvine